May 27, 2009

Acteal Case to be Revisted / Will there be Justice for the Evangelicals?

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, this article came out Monday by the La Jornada, and is the latest on the Acteal Case in which over 40 evangelicals were falsely accused of participating in the horrendous massacre. The information is long in coming, and obviously the defense from the Christian ministry,Open Doors, has been working for this, and still hoping that justice will be served. These brothers have been persecuted for their faith, imprisoned unjustly for 12+ years, lost homes, lands, wives who married other men to survive, family...everything but their faith in Christ. Their wives and children who were poor and marginalized before, were left worse off. Please keep this situation in prayer, the Supreme court judges and those waiting for their verdict. This is the last judicial option they will have. Should they gain their freedom they will be faced with: where to go, how to begin over, how to relate to those who pointed their fingers at them and said..."He was one of them". Translation is from the Spanish text. The article is here specifically to promote prayer.

(Fuente: La Jornada / Mexico) It Appears That the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation Intends to Liberate 14 Indian Prisoners Imprisoned for the Acteal Massacre

The opening discussion of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (Mexico) is about 4 legal “stays” granted to 41 Indians who were sentenced for the Acteal Massacre, committed on December 22nd, 1997, in Chiapas, Mexico. The resulting proposal of complete freedom for 14 of the accused and sentenced is “because their responsibility in the massacre has not been fully proved”; while, a special legal “judicial stay” has been ordered in the cases of some 27 other cases, so that the presiding judge can evaluate evidence that was not considered when he had made his decision. Judicial sources have confirmed the report, and explained that the 4 “stays” will be analyzed in session by the court officials before Wednesday, with the objective of resolving the situation in no more than 2 weeks (?). The four issues were presented at different times, but they are all related to the same case: the assassination of 45 Tzotzil Indians (21 women - 4 of them pregnant, 15 children, and 9 men) who belonged to the organization “The Bees”, while they were praying and fasting for peace (in the Chiapas Highlands). It is noted that the issues discussed by the 5 judges, who make up highest group of the Supreme Court, are related exclusively to Indians who were accused of the crimes of personal injury, homicide, and bearing arms restricted to only military use. None of the issues have to do with the 15 ex state agents and public officials who were also sentenced. In accordance with the information obtained, the legal “protections” or stays were presented by groups of those sentenced. The group reviewed by Olga Sanchez Cordero is made of 4 complainants, Jose de Jesus Gudiño Pelayo with 6, Jose Ramon Cossio with 14, and Sergio Valls made up of 25. Judicial sources confirmed that out of all of these cases, immediate release is proposed in 14 cases, because after reviewing the files, the officials did not find proof that confirmed the accusations made against the complainants. There are testimonies of those who deny having been at the scene of the crime, or some who claim they were victims, but the authorities have not proved that they had participated in the murders. Respecting the other 27 complainants, the review board proposes conceding a judicial stay, so that the tribune can dictate a sentence that takes into account evidential proofs that were ignored in the first case, and that were definitive in their original sentencing. The complainants received sentences that varied from 25 to 40 years of prison. Once the court officials analyze in private the four issues, they will then review in which cases exist “insufficient proof” to advance the approval of final verdicts, in which each judge will maintain his or her point of view.

The woman pictured above, mother of Acteal Family Spokesperson Estela Luna Perez, the wife and mother of men imprisoned for over 12 years now, cries during an interview with Voice of the Martyrs team who have listened to their testimonies and needs.

No comments: